In an effort to actually keep some "March Resolutions" (a month is easier than a year right?) I decided to blog them for myself. Making lists/goals will cause me to aim for something. I am more likely to complete something if I have a list/goal. I pretty much make a list daily of things I'd like to accomplish. Do you?
First of all, I'd like to go all month without using disposables. Okay, so this is a personal thing really because it literally is NO BIG DEAL if there is a day or two here or there that Jonas wears disposable diapers. Who really cares, right? We have several on hand for situations where it is necessary. I however am trying to see how long I can go without using one.
I've done it before with coke, chocolate (didn't last long, ha ha!), and other things along my journey, but the flavor of the month is cloth diapering.
I am admittedly a little obsessed with cloth diapers and with learning what I can, and acquiring different brand of diapers. I recently started using warm cloth wipes, and it is just delicious heaven! :) If I were a baby, I would love to have a warm washcloth wipe my bum! :) Okay, that sounded very weird! But I am trying to do what is best for my baby and best for our family. I think cloth is healthier and saves money in the long run! Research for yourself if interested the health concerns with disposable diapers. I am no "tree hugger" or environmentalist, but I do care about doing what I can to reduce waste and care even more about doing what is healthiest for my kids. I won't judge you for keeping your kids in disposables, it is very convenient. I am all for convenience. But I am a stay at home mom, and I think part of my "job" is stretching our family dollar. I may not contribute (much) financially to the funds of the household, but I can make sure the money that my husband does make, lasts longer and goes farther. Using cloth diapers (all the time) and cloth wipes (while at home) will save us money. Not time, but money! :) Even with the extra washing, we save. I didn't notice any significant increase in our power or water bill from the extra 3 loads of laundry a week. I line dry, os that is free. Know what I mean?
[begin rabbit trail...] My philosophy (this is a rabbit trail, sorry!) is now to look at things in light of how many hours my husband works in order to make that amount of money. Just for example sake (this isn't really his income rate) that he makes $10 an hour (that is an easy figure to work with :) ). Lets then say that I want a pedicure. Jonathan would have to work 2.5 hours (figuratively speaking) in order for me to get a pedicure. Is it worth it? Do I want him to be away from our family for that amount of time just for a pedicure? It might make more impact for you if you work outside the home and you say "I personally work 2.5 hours in order to have this or that." Is it worth your time? Is it worth your money? Something to think about, eh? [end of rabbit trail!]
I am thankful for the support I've received from friends and family on this cloth using venture. I have learned much and still have much to learn. I am keeping positive and am loving the changes that have come. Jonas has had one rash (he used to have constant ones, and needed Nystatin prescriptions) since we started and it cleared up very fast.
From what I have read, the average cost (Huggies, Pampers, or Luvs) of a disposable diaper is 19 cents. Think about that...as a newborn a baby could easily go through 12 diapers a day. Over $2 a day? $60 a month? I was blessed with a diaper shower,so we didn't buy disposables until Jonas was 7 or 8 months old. By that time he used basically half that number, and still does. I figured it at an average of $1 a day. Some brands of diapers would run more than that, some less. That figure is buying them in bulk, not the handy regular chain store/grocery store size. I also go that figure using coupons. One account I read online estimated that a family will spend around $!900 from birth to potty training per child! Cloth could be as cheap as $150 (but this would be the prefold/cover route, or buying at really good used deals!) and at an average of $400-500. And then the cost for baby number two could be $0! :)
I have some diapers that I don't love that I will be selling soon to fund other options. I also have some birthday money from Jonas's birthday that Jonathan and I have decided to spend on expanding JOnas's stash, so I won't be hard up for clean diapers over the weekend, and so I can sell these stupid Coolababy. They work in a pinch, but I'd rather have all reliable diapers. The rest of Jonas's money will be going into his savings account.
On a more personal note, I am aiming to do something else this month. It is kind of a personal challenge. I have decided to limit my grocery budget to $20 a week, trying to make up some deficit from some not so great spending habits in February and added birthday expense. We're not "hard up" for cash or anything, but I thought this would be a good challenge. If I can get away with it, I will try to spend $0. But we do need milk for Jonas, so can't skimp there. The plan is to live off the stock pile I have in the freezer (full to the rim, Praise the Lord!) and in the pantry. We also need to limit our eating out... (our weakness in Savannah!)
We also are committing (starting today) to writing down every dime we spend (cash or check or debit or credit or whatever!) so we can see where money is going! We don't keep track very well, we just check online every so often, but we really want to budget and get a handle on our debt (been trying to check out the Dave Ramsey book at the library for a month, apparently it is popular). So, pray with us that we will be able to do well with these goals.
To recap, My March Goals:
1. Go without disposables all month!
2. $20 or less a week on groceries
3. Write down all spending
Wouldn't it be nice to put money into savings this month instead of transferring it out to cover bills? :)
Hope this wasn't a bore, but I thought if I blogged "for all the world to see" it would help keep me accountable. I mean, you're gonna check up on me and see how I'm doing, right? So I have to keep these goals, because you expect it, right? Thanks for reading and letting this mamma share her heart. Let me know your March goals, and how I can pray for you! :) Are you trying to get debt free? I sure am!